I was first introduced to the concept of walking in school. I read about the Salt March by our Father of Nation—Mahatma Gandhi; somewhere in the 1930s. I was quite indifferent to this march but always very inquisitive about the idea.
While growing up, I often saw people walking in large numbers to pay a visit to the shrine of a popular messenger of God—Sai Baba. This one is one of the most visited pilgrimages in India.
Much later in life, I heard about a great saint and leader—Acharya Vinoba Bhave who walked all around India for several years (like more than 20 years) to collect land for poor and neglected communities.
I really thought that these men had lost their minds but I always had a pinch in my heart about the whole concept of walking for a cause. Who knew that I had to wait for more than 30 years for someone to come and shake my whole life up. Someone, actually two of them, who made me realize that I may re-work my entire 33 years of life!
In December of 2013, I attended a retreat organized by a community named Moved By Love. It was actually a pursuit to find myself; an inner journey. There I met three men who changed the way I look at my life—Siddharth Sthalekar, Nipun Mehta and Jayesh Patel. Their humbleness surprised me and ripped my heart away. They made me understand the reasons why great men walked the pilgrimage path and why they took the road less taken. I was convinced and when I came back, I resigned from my job. I decided to sacrifice my lower goals for higher ones. The retreat did really move me by love.
My inner journey had started and soon I met the man who inspired me to the next level. Who knew that this man would be the one I’ll walk with one day. With the grace of divine design, I met them man—Yogesh Mathuria. He had been quite inspired by his mentor, who walked—without money—from New Delhi to America; somewhere in the 1960s.
In 2014, we discussed this dream peace project where he would walk to India’s neighboring countries with the message of peace and love. This was not the only challenge, but there was another – walking without money! I got damn interested this time and agreed to walk with him for first 20 days—Ahmadabad to Udaipur in India.
I was very excited since the day I agreed. I knew there was a beast—as well a clown—waiting for me on this road less taken. I prepared my mind, body and emptied my wallet for a mad adventure that might change my life forever. I read somewhere that if you want things you don’t have, you have to do things you have never done before. That day I knew some miracle was about to happen and with great determination, I agreed to walk this path of the fire, I decided to take the road less taken and opened the forbidden package.